Project making strides

2016-07-27 06:00
SAM MASHININI (MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs) lending a hand at the Diyatalawa Dairy stable.  Photo: Tladi Moloi

SAM MASHININI (MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs) lending a hand at the Diyatalawa Dairy stable. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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HARRISMITH. Z The amount of milk produced at the Diyatalawa Agri Village is not enough and should be increased.

So says Oupa Khoabane, the MEC for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Speaking at the village which he visited on Tuesday (19/07), Khoabane said although he was happy with the developments at the farm, there was still room for improvement.

“This is a big project. We are happy with developments on the farm, but we would like to see it produce more milk a day,” he said.

He said they hoped this would happen soon as they were waiting for more dairy cows to arrive.

Diyatalawa is situated about 20 km outside Harrismith. It was launched in 2009 by President Jacob Zuma as one of the pilot projects to help combat extreme poverty.

According to Fanyane Maduna, chairperson of the Communal Property Association (CPA), they produce about 260 liters of milk per day with 17 cows. The cows are milked two times a day.

“We would like to see the production increase. We need more dairy cows, however, in order to achieve that,” he said.

Diyatalawa was an example of what could be achieved on other agri villages within the province.

“We want great jobs for our people and the Diyatalawa project is a perfect model,” Maduna said.

Nthabiseng Moloi, one of the women beneficiaries, said their milk production was affected by the change of season.

They get more milk in summer because the grass is greener and there is more water than in winter.

She said they supplied milk to the Mountain View Dairy.

Moloi had been working on the project since 2004.

“It is expensive to maintain dairy cattle, but we do need more,” she said.

Ace Magashule, the premier of the Free State, said: “We are very excited with what the Diyatalawa community has achieved thus far.

“We offered help a few years ago and they have grown from that. They have managed to buy tractors and other equipment without asking for further help.

“They have been working together and that has encouraged us to help them more.

“We understand they need more milk cows to produce more milk and we will help them.”

Besides the dairy cows the village owns approximately 147 beef cattle.

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